Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good News on the Reproductive Rights Front

Okay, I just saw this story on MSNBC and other similar stories on other sites. The clinic operated by Dr. George Tiller, which has been closed since his death in 2009, is poised to re-open.

Kick ass! Kansas has been mostly without access to abortion care since Dr. Tiller died, which exemplifies the anti-abortion strategy of using pin-point force combined with legal and political pressure to close all clinics in a state, effectively fucking over Roe v Wade on a state by state level.

Anyway, I hope the re-opening goes swiftly and isn't as grueling a process as I fully expect the bastards to make it for the Trust Women Foundation.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Amanda Webb Can Draw Anything

I hit up Amanda's webgallery today, and thought I'd encourage all of you to do the same. On this page, you've got every piece of art she's done for Otherverse Games. It's a pretty diverse body of work. On one single page we've got powered armor, realistic military, fantastic creatures like fairies and minotaurs, kid friendly sentai, explicit sex, suicide, violence, realistic and recognizable figure work and some decent background stuff.

Anyway, go check it out.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sentai Sequel

I just sent Sentai Sequel off to Mark to post on RPGNow and DriveThru. The book tops out at 38 pages of crunchy, cartoony goodness. From the sell text:

This short supplement provides some new
options to be used with Otherverse Game’s Sentai
Spectacular! campaign guide (2011). Inside, you’ll
find some additional content to make your Sentai flavored game even more interesting: some new Sentai colors, amazing new gear, some dangerous new weapons.

You’ll also find the suave male counterpart
to the Lunar Princess Talent Tree, and new starting talents that provide expanded support for variant Sentai campaigns built around the Lunar Empire or Children of Gaea. Plus, you’ll finally be able to merge your Mecha-Kaiju into a single hyper colorful and indestructible war machine!

Finally, you’ll get a littlesupport for integrating material from Fursona into a
Sentai campaign.

It should be up soon, and I think you'll enjoy it.
Blessed Be,

Monday, September 17, 2012

You Know What I Just Realized?

Okay, I was watching the X-movies again this weekend and I realized something. I've been reading comics for 20+ years now, and I just grokked something. You know how Storm's eyes always go white when she uses her powers? I just realized why that is....

She can summon hurricane force winds, right? So there's going to be tuns of grit, sand, dust, and even high velocity water molecules being blown around, all anxious to scratch up her delicate corneas, right? Those white eye things... I just realized they're some kind of nictating membrane to protect her eyes when she uses her powers.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Skeleton of an Adventure

            In the comments a couple of posts ago, Alzrius asked when you’ll see Otherverse America adventures or even a full Adventure Path. I’ve been thinking of a good starting adventure for the setting, something that could equally involve Choicer, Lifer or Fed-Gov PCs, something that touches on the themes of the setting, and something that showcases the insane level of diversity. I also want an adventure that’s mostly non-linear, allowing for sandbox play, or to be dropped into any existing campaign.

            So what the hell, let me show you the bare skeletons of an adventure. I’m thinking of expanding this idea out into the first adventure for Otherverse America, so let me know what you think of it. Now, remember, this is only a skeleton, a basic framework of an adventure, not a complete product.

You’ll have to do a lot of the work yourself to bring it to life. In addition to the Campaign Setting, this adventure will heavily reference Species of Otherverse America and Never Born Again. (Some of the background elements and revelations about Sanger Genomics, found in Fursona III will also be used). Other books will be helpful, but that trio will be core to the adventure. Also, you’ll want to pick up Rite Publication’s Monsters of Taboo: Taker of the Unborn. (Rite Publications, 2009). I’ll explain why that last book in just a minute.

            The adventure takes place in late fall or winter 2106.
This adventure can take place in any North American city, but works best in ‘mixed communities’ where there is both a Lifer and Choicer presence within easy driving distance. The adventure is designed for first level characters, and they should reach 3rd or 4th level by the time this story arc is all said and done. I’ll mention some ‘entry points’ for Lifer, Choicer and neutral PC groups as the outline progresses.

Flight of the Parrots
(Stock image by Char Reed, Ignitus Innovations Inc)

            A Choicer Megacorp has genetically engineered a race of bird-like symbiotes (use the statblock for the Taker of the Unborn, with some modifications). These symbiotes can attach to a pregnant woman, and absorb her fetus without harm or pain to either mother or fetus. The Taker (which is recast as a more bird like creature than the stirge-like critter it was in MOT) can store the fetus within itself almost indefinitely, and can later than inject the fetus and amniotic sac in any living creature as a parasite, bringing the pregnancy to term in any mammal, regardless of species or gender.

            The project that created the Taker was initially funded as commercial genetech, maybe even a way to de-escalate the rising tensions, to solve the problem of the Abortion War once and for all, by completely eliminating the need for abortion. Good, idealistic research. The only problem is once the first generation of Takers are decanted and field tested, the Megacorp realizes they don’t have any market for these things. The Takers scare the shit out of Lifers and creep the hell out of most Choicers. The Takers are basically an interesting biological curiosity that will never see the outside of a testing lab.

So as the adventure begins, the Choicer Megacorp is transporting the Takers from its Main Lab to an Offsite Lab, for some final testing, to see if the project can yield anything really useful and eventual destruction of the experimental animals. The Takers are in stasis in the back of a commercial van, being driven to the Offsite Lab at about 0300, when the roads are mostly empty. Nobody is expecting trouble, because the Taker project has mostly flown under the radar.

Of course, the van gets hit.
The drivers and solitary guard get badly injured or killed, and in the process, most of the Takers escape their stasis tubes and make for open sky. The culprits are a half bright gang of Lifer Eco-Terrorists- idealistic kids from some nearby Wealthy Lifer Enclave. These kids want to make their bones, do something dramatic, but aren’t up to full on conflict with Choicers. They didn’t even want to seriously hurt anybody during the raid, but something goes wrong and suddenly, the kids are major felons.

Several dozen Takers escape, and most survive long enough to take shelter in the city. Over the next few days, really weird shit starts happening. Shit that is going to involve the PCs.

First, lets talk about how I’m going to modify the Takers from the Rite Publications version: drop their intelligence dramatically to INT 3-4, though the Takers can still understand and respond to properly formatted commands in English or Spanish. (Of course, determining the proper format for commands will make recapturing these things a lot easier, and will require some research into the Choicer Megacorp that created them). Second, give the Takers the Lifechained subtype- alien genetic material was used in their creation, and explains their strange biology. Finally, the experiments that lead to the birth of the Takers had their origin in Sanger-Tech that the Choicer Megacorp bought on the open market, so there’s a kind of bad history there.


The Lifer Eco-Terrorists
            These guys are teenagers or early college age, minimally equipped first level characters, actually a little less durable and combat ready than the PCs. They are the children of Lifer elites in the Enclave, and they formed an eco-terrorist cell pretty much under their parents noses, for their own reasons. They’re an ongoing complication because they pull other raids throughout the adventure, acting as a rival adventuring party to the PCs.

            The biggest complication though is that during the raid that freed the Takers, the leader of the cell used some kind of prototype Lifer Tech or Power. This gadget was recently developed by the AOG and entrusted to the Lifer kid’s parents for safe keeping. Obviously this gadget is super secret, intended to be used when the Abortion War next goes hot. Once the cops get done with forensics on the destroyed Megacorp Van, they’re going to realize that this tech or power exists, and very soon after that, APEX and the rest of the Fed-Gov are going to get involved. Now, Lifer Mommy & Daddy are scrambling to cover up their eco-terrorist kid’s mess, and destroy or recover the forensic examinations of the forbidden tech. If they don’t get to this tech in time, the Lifer AOG is going to send in some badass, high level Cleaners who will probably end up killing their kid, and the other kids in the eco-terrorist cell, in the name of tactical secrecy.

            I figure Lifer Mommy & Daddy make good patrons for a Lifer mercenary group- they can hire on Lifer PCs to destroy evidence and muddy the waters so their kids’ involvement isn’t suspected. Higher level Lifer characters, or ones based on Kodiak Island, will be the Cleaner team themselves, sent in to kill everybody and sterilize the scene.

The Victims
            As soon as the Takers find a roost, they are driven by their biological urges to absorb pregnancies and transfer them. If the characters are Choicer heroes, connected to a Clinic in any way, this makes a great way to get them involved. If a clinic’s patient, midway through a very much wanted pregnant, wakes up suddenly non-pregnant in a way that makes zero biological sense, any Choicer medic in town is going to be VERY interested. If random women around town find themselves in the same boat, multiply this interest by ten or twty; and if human fetuses are found grafted to unwilling random women, random men, or even animals, like dogs or livestock, everybody is going to want to know what’s up.

            The medical (and emotional) crisis presented by a Taker infestation makes a great hook for Midwife player characters, and might also get APEX or unaligned characters involved- if the players are funded by Patriot Medical or the CDC, they will definitely be sent in for a look.

            More personally, if a friend or loved one of the PCs suddenly finds herself un-pregnant, intimately violated by these freaky animals, it gives the PCs a visceral reason to go Taker-hunting.  Especially if the PCs realize that they might be able to get the pregnancy back, and re-implant it in the correct mother to be, within a short window of the Taker’s attack. This makes Taker-hunting a very time sensitive mission, which is a kick ass hook for an early campaign. 
The Sanger Connection
            Because the Takers were built using Sanger-Tech who knows what will happen if they mess with another Sanger creation, like a Fluxminx or Softling PC? In the actual adventure, I’ll probably have some kind of weird events chart- if a Fluxminx or Softling is affected by a Taker anything can happen, from minor illness to major risk of death to lasting mutation to the addition of a badass power-up template in rare cases.

The Machine Intelligences
            At this point I don’t know if either Nuremberg or the badly damaged Astarte-773 AI had any direct hand in the creation of the Takers, they are both certainly interested in the species. Nuremberg is fascinated, and wonders if the Takers have anything to offer its pet species, the Neverborn. Would a Taker symbiosis allow Neverborn to breed true? Because if the answer is yes, than capturing some Takers alive for study is vital to Nuremberg’s long term plans.

            Meanwhile, what’s Astarte-773’s role in all this? Did she manipulate the Taker Project in as a means of doing something to ‘her children’ the Softlings and Fluxminx? Are the Takers an apology (if the Sanger Connection interaction mentioned above results in something positive?) or are the Takers a weapon, designed to spread a deadly disease among Softlings & Fluxminx (if the interaction results in disease or something otherwise negative). Or are the Takers just some kind of biological SOS, sent out by Astarte-773 to say “Help! I’m still alive somewhere on the Mesh, and Nuremberg is torturing the fuck outta me!”

            Of course, you’re running the “Biological SOS” option, unraveling the mysteries of Taker biology might result in the PCs figuring out that Nuremberg itself is sentient and the depths of its manipulation of the Lifer nation. At that point, expect Susan Glauchester and her McDuffs to become unlikely allies for the PCs, and the Nuremberg and his Neverborn pawns to become long-term antagonists.

The Propaganda War
            The Lifer rumor mill starts buzzing with talk about the Takers within a few days of their escape. The Lifer civilian population is convinced these creatures are an intentional Choicer monster, designed to steal Christian babies away for sacrifice to Moloch or whatever fucked up things these assholes truly believe. Block Mothers with UZIs patrol the streets, demonstrations in Choicer neighborhoods turn nasty and violent, and tensions increase.

            Religious leaders start citing obscure passages from Scripture claiming that the Takers are some monster from Revelations about to start the end times. In the background of the campaign, you’ve got tragic family suicides, riots, brawls and propaganda played on Mesh. You’ve got that same sense of impending doom that Watchmen had.  

            A few days into the campaign, the Coalition for Life realizes that the Takers are more than just deckplate rumor. If the CFL can capture a Taker alive and release video of it ‘feeding’ on a test animal, they can launch a major propaganda offensive against the Choicers, recruiting hundreds of new ‘direct action rescuers’- read: terrorists, earning millions of dollars in micro-contributions and scoring some political points. So all of a sudden, the private army of the public face of the Lifer nation descends on the city.
Choice Has Her Hand In
            Sooner or later, in any espionage oriented campaign, the PCs will run across Choice Merideth, either as an ally or an enemy. She’s like the Choicer Nick Fury, only even more manipulative. It’s perfectly in character for her, through a series of catspaws, to manipulate a gang of Lifer teenagers into forming an eco-terror cell and hitting a Choicer Megacorp. What’s her ultimate objective? Does she believe the release of Takers into the eco-system, and allowing them to become a true breeding species, will some how benefit the Choicers long term? Does she have some grudge with the Megacorp? Is this a roundabout way of revealing or capturing whatever tech or power that Lifer Mommy & Daddy are keeping in reserve? Is the whole thing an especially nasty misdirection, while Choice and her loyalists are performing some mission of their own in the city?

            Whatever the case, things will quickly spiral out of control, as the players have to contend with the Choicer intelligence apparatus and Choice’s operatives as well as all the rest of the factions in this adventure.

The Endgame
            There’s no shortage of potential end-bosses for this mission, and depending on the PCs actions, they might end up battling more than one final boss. I would probably write these up as modular encounters, so the GM can choose where the adventure takes the PCs, and allows some or all of these encounters to be used as random encounters along the way. Some potential end-bosses:

  • A low level Lifer Closer, sent from Kodiak Island to clean the situation, recover or destroy all evidence of the tech or power, and kill the leader of the Lifer eco-terror cell.

  • The head of the Lifer eco-terror cell, mutated into some kind of powerful Lifechained superhuman by something he or she uncovered in another badly planned raid on the Megacorp, and rampaging out of fear or ego.

  • A mid-level Bastian superspy, answering only to Choice and willing to fight dirty to ensure Choices’ objectives, whatever they really are, are carried out.

  • An APEX containment squad, declaring martial law over the city and rounding up Taker victims for future study.

  • A Choicer superheroine who fell victim to a Taker and is determined to get her revenge, no matter who gets caught in the crossfire.

  • Some Neverborn fanatics, answering to Nuremberg, displaying eerie powers as they try to capture a Taker or victim alive and intact.

  • Some enigmatic Sanger-Tech mutant, created secretly by Astarte-773, and carrying out the mysterious AI’s orders in regards to the Takers.

  • A Nemesis Lifespawn alien, drawn to Earth by the Takers, acting on instinct and killing (or infecting) anybody that gets in its way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Question for Otherverse America Fans

Just a quick question- if I were to publish an Otherverse America specific adventure path in the next year or two (most likely sometime in late 2013 or early 2014), what should the AP emphasize?

Should it focus on Lifer, Choicer or Fed-Gov characters, or should it be designed around a mixed faction party?

Should the AP be combat heavy, or emphasize investigation, romance, politics, or some mix?

Should the AP venture out into space, either through adventures set in the Near Earth region (The Lunar colony, the belt, Solomon Station) or go father out? Likewise, should the emphasis be on Lifechained or extraterrestrial threats, or on human adversaries and military adventure?

Drop me some comments. Otherverse America is a big enough setting that finding out exactly how you will play with it will help me focus this idea.

Blessed Be,

Designer Notes: Favorite Races

            My latest PDF is a short race book detailing the Arcadians, a race of living video games. Building new races is probably my favorite part of game design, and today I thought I’d talk about my favorite races from my various campaign worlds, and why those races are my favorites

Races of the Tatakama

            The Akaname
            The Akaname are one of my favorites because they are just so fetishy and creepy. Being undead gives them some kick ass immunities, and fills a neat game niche. I always thought WOTC and later Paizo should of included an undead player race as a core racial option, and with the Akaname (not to mention the Ububme and Otherverse America’s Neverborn) I’m filling that niche. Plus, the fact these creatures lick up pee and poop and have a tendency towards voyeurism offers lots of opportunities for dark comedy in game- I designed these guys as sidekicks and comic relief characters, but when the rare Akaname steps up into true heroism or actual villainy, it makes the moment that much cooler.

            The Dodoma
Amanda’s art for this race elevated it to the ranks of my favorites. These guys make excellent dashing, swashbuckling thieves, and are just fun to play. Mechanically, they’ve got some kickass extrasensory abilities, which help cement their niche as one of the best Roguish races in the game.

The Kami
            As with the Dodoma, the art really sells the Kami. I designed the race to emulate Belldandy from Oh, My Goddess and Anthony took that advice to heart when he illustrated the race. Mechanically, I love how customizable the Kami are- they choose a domain that gives them powers and access to specific skills, and have an ability that makes them one of the best skill-based races in the game. I can see a lot of gamers building Kami bards, rogues or rangers and really shining in their area of expertise.

Galaxy Command

            The Trius (From Free20: Threeway)
            I originally presented the Trius as a free bonus race for the Galaxy Command setting, but I liked ‘em so much that I’m going to make them a core race in my upcoming Races of the Command Fleet sourcebook. The whole idea of the race was to create a homage species that was as sexy, competent and combative as Triad from the Legion of Superheroes. The Trius (and Triad, who inspired them) have the ability to split into three identical duplicates at will. Building that ability into something suitable for a +0 ECL D20 Future race was a huge challenge, and I think I did it pretty well. This one is a favorite both for the mechanics and high concept.

            Star Droids
            Basically, the Star Droids are a way for sci-fi gamers to play R2-D2 (or V.I.N.C.E.N.T or Old B.O.B. or the droids from Silent Running, or Wall-e) and still be effective around the gaming table. They’re quirky, fun to play and completely non-humanoid. That’s important- gaming needs more weird things to play as. Like the Akaname, the Star Droids are another kick ass sidekick race.

            Space Cases
            The Space Cases PDF is filled with random trait and alien culture builder charts, which makes it pretty kickass old school type gaming, stapled onto the very solid D20-based framework I prefer to build in. Plus, I managed to sneak in references to the entire Legion of Substitute Heroes roster in the racial feats section. Galaxy Command as a whole is filled with LOSH references and injokes, but I really took it to an extreme in Space Cases.


            The Blooded Ghosts
            The Ghosts are a race I haven’t done enough with yet. Inspired by Jim Lee’s Daemonites (from WildCATS and Stormwatch), these guys are creepy enough to hold my interest. I want to explore the culture in more depth, and sooner or later I’ll do a race book on these guys consolidating all the scattered information about them. The Ghosts are an interesting twist on a traditional shapeshifting race, with some neat body horror abilities and a nastily predatory mindset that makes ‘em fun to play.

            Basically these guys are Jack Hawksmoor, from Warren Ellis’ awesome Stormwatch run. I like them because they have cool racial abilities, and some of the absolutely coolest racial feats in the game.

            The Culture
            The Culture are cool mostly because of their rivalry with the Blooded Ghosts, and you really can’t have one race without the other. I added in a subplot for the race that they’re the distant, distant descendants of Otherverse America’s Coven of Bast. I love the idea of cross-planar campaigns and tying all my worlds into one fictional multiverse, and the Culture are a big part of that. Plus I enjoyed the fact that the Culture are the stereotypical ‘super-advanced but fully human looking aliens’ and I made them black, because most examples of that trope are usually pretty Caucasian, sometimes even verging on creepily Aryan.

Otherverse America
            Full Conversion Cyborgs
This race is a favorite for the mechanics behind it, and one that can be exported out of Otherverse America to any cyberpunk setting. Before coming up with the FCBs, I struggled with how to handle cyber-conversion- are cyborgs a template, a class, a feat tree, or just guys who purchased a lot of equipment? Making them a race solved a lot of the problem balancing heavy combat cyborgs with everybody else, gave the world a neat cyberpunk flavor, and was just generally a fun choice. The racial backstory of serious sexual abuse is one of the best justifications for racial ability score moridifers, and giving these guys Iron Will as a racial bonus feat really emphasizes their mental and spiritual strength.

The Neverborn
            The Neverborn became one of my favorite races right about the time I wrote Never Born Again, and added the Nuremberg AI to the Otherverse America campaign setting. I’d always intended the Lifers to use a communications protocol called Nuremberg, but in original drafts, Nuremberg was non-sentient, basically just the Lifer version of the Internet. Anyway, once I added Nuremberg AI as an overarching villain, the Neverborn really (pardon the pun) came to life. Kickass plot hooks, some interesting NPCs, and awesome racial feats make the Neverborn really fun to play, and ‘core’ to the Otherverse America experience.

            The Ubasti
            The Ubasti are fun to play just because they are so physical- they’re awesomely strong, combative and quirky enough to be really fun to play. Basically, they are Battlecat from He-Man doing volunteer work as an abortion clinic escort, which is a concept that’s so nonsensical on the surface it brings a smile to my face. Their racial PDF does a good job, I think of really capturing the psychology of the Ubasti- they think more like very smart cats than dumb humans, and their racial feats really reinforce this.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Art Preview: Sentai Sequel

Okay, here we've got two preview images from Sentai Sequel, which I talked about in depth last time. Up top we have a Sentai Hero wearing some new, heavy armor, and though you can't tell at this black and white inked stage, he'll be a Purple Sentai Hero! So yep, that means new suit colors. We'll have Purple, Gold, Brown, Orange, and a few more I'm keeping in reserve, as well as some truly weird spectrum roles like the Steel and Psychedelic Heroes.The Purple Hero will be a new core- instead of all sentai requiring a Red, Yellow and Blue hero, they can now swap in a Purple for a Red and change up the dynamic a bit.

Below, you've got an amazing illo for the Children of Gaea concept- which is basically Captain Planet shoehorned into traditional sentai. This variant character concept gets dramatically expanded, with new gear, talents, and suggestions on running an eco-themed sentai campaign.

You'll also get four new vehicles (at least, maybe more if I get inspired between now and the release date) including Sentai bullet trains, because what's more Japanese than bullet trains?

You'll also get some suggestions about integrating Fursona with Sentai, and mixing matching elements from Black Tokyo and the Tatakama, even a suggestion or two for integrating Sentai into Otherverse America!

And oh yeah, combining fuckin' mecha!

Anyway, Sentai Sequel will be out in another week or two. In the meantime, I just sent off "The Arcadians" to Mark for posting on Rpgnow. The Arcadians are a race of videogame inspired Fey- think the old Reboot or Captain Nintendo toons. They originally debuted in the now 'out of print' D20 Decade:1980s book I did, and I've rebuilt them from the ground up for Pathfinder. Also, the Arcadians are nice indirect support for Sentai Sequel- there's a side bar about integrating Arcadians into Sentai that's pretty sweet.

Blessed Be,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

And Now I Can Form the Head!

Okay, I was reading some of the reviews of Sentai Spectacular (both of which were overwhelmingly positive) from today. And one of the criticisms of the book was that I didn't include rules for Combiner Mecha, like the lion-faced badass over on the right side of your screen.

I originally strayed away from combiner mecha because of two reasons: one, Voltron scale constructs pretty much break the D20 Modern rule system in half. Something like a true combiner Megazord or Devastator or Voltron is a fucking beast.

Second, and more importantly, I couldn't really see a way to involve all the players in the action (usually the episode's climactic fight) when combined. Using Voltron as an example- only the Black Lion's player would get to act, since his lion is controlling the mecha. The other four PCs would just have to sit in their cockpits and maybe roll an Aid Another action each round, basically turning them into spectators.

Good reasons not to include combiner mechs, right? Anyway, I think I may have found a way around both problems. So expect to see combiner Mecha-Kaiju in Sentai Sequel.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Revisiting the Tatakama, Upcoming Stuff

I've just revisited the Tatakama setting, releasing two short books under the Black Tokyo Legends banner: Guro-Strike! (A bloody new combat option originally previewed on this blog a few months back) and Spells & Gods of the Tatakama (which is exactly what it sounds like.).

Right now, after Frontlines of Choice, which was a very art heavy project, I'm rebuilding my art budget before heading into my first Masters of Endara releases. (Those will be extremely art heavy as well.)

I'm in the process of putting together a sequel to Sentai Spectacular, which is coming together nicely. This one will have some cool Amanda Webb art. Meanwhile, John Picot is still working on Solomon Station, which should be one of the last big Otherverse America releases of 2012.

John's already sent over his portion of the art for Anthros of Endara, and I'm waiting for Vic Shane to do the same with his creatures. Amanda will also be working on this after Sentai Sequel is done with. In addition, she's already done the first basic map of the campaign world.

I've also been toying with a short D20 Modern 'campaign plug-in' which is a homage to the movies of Andy Sidaris. I recently found a 12 movie collection of his stuff for $5, and picked it up. Basically, all his movies are tits, explosions, unrealistic gunplay and weaponized model airplanes. I get the first three, but the weaponized model airplanes, it's just weird.

After all that, I've got Races of Galaxy Command on deck, and I'm toying with the idea of releasing a revised and updated version of the Coven of Bast in Spring of 2013. So I've got a lot of planned projects on my plate, and in addition to those, I know I'll also work on projects that come to be in a burst of sudden inspiration between now and year's end.

Blessed Be,